The Kepler/K2 field: bridging stellar and Galactic astronomy

The astronomical community is investing heavily in extensive high-precision surveys of stellar populations in our Galaxy. 

While ground based photometric and spectroscopic surveys are now targeting different stellar components of the Milky Way, asteroseismic space-borne missions such as Kepler/K2 are delivering long sought stellar properties, among which: radii, masses and ages of field stars. When coupling this information with classical determinations of stellar properties, it becomes possible to derive crucial observational constraints for Galactic modelling. 

We have recently acquired wide-field imaging in the Stromgren photometric system to derive accurate effective temperatures, metallicities, and surface gravities for a large fraction of stars in the Kepler/K2 fields. Coupling stellar parameters from photometry with masses, radii and ages from asteroseismology, we are for the first time in the position to robustly investigate the interplay between age and chemistry across stellar populations in the Milky Way.

The student taking this project is expected to familiarise him/herself with the basic principles of photometry and acquire skills to successfully analyse the data. Depending on progress, opportunities exist to contribute to various different aspects of this project other than the data analysis, including derivation of stellar parameters, and/or investigating the links to Galactic evolution.